As a mom, I try to expose my boys to as many great experiences as possible. We have been to countless museums, and many more are on the list. About two weeks ago, I was looking for museums in New Orleans to visit. I came across the Musée Conti Wax Museum, and thought “Hmm this seems interesting”. I am a Louisiana native, Baton Rouge born and raised, and never have I ever been to this particular museum; sad, I know. Before deciding we would go, I did a little research so I would not be totally ignorant to what the museum offers. I have a history degree, so I try stay on my A game when visiting museums. On their website was this , “NOTE: Musee Conti will officially close on January 31, 2016!“. The history buff in me was shocked. I thought “Oh no we have to go visit”.
Saturday morning arrives, I get the kiddos dressed, and we head out. On the way there (about an hour drive), I gave my usual museum pep talk. We arrive in the Big Easy, park, and make our way to the museum. We walked in and instantly I was excited! That is until we began the tour. The lighting in the museum was horrible and there was quite a sharp odor, but that did not bother me. What did bother me was the fact that the exhibits were exceedingly basic. I expected the exhibits to give greater details of events of New Orleans history. I believe majority of us Louisianians learned everything the museum had to offer in our grade school Louisiana history class. I just felt as if though many more events in New Orleans history should have been displayed. I was able to explain what was taking place in each exhibit before I read the description that went along with.
As we concluded the tour, I was disappointed. My 3 year old very openly expressed how he did not like the museum either; that I did not want to hear. Maybe I set the bar for his expectations of museums high at an early age. Deep down I believe that because there were no hands on exhibits, he was not too fond of the museum. I was disappointed because of the potential this hidden gem has to be an even greater jewel to the city. The history and culture of New Orleans is very rich, and enjoyed by everyone.
I am not quite sure why the museum is closing, but I will assume funding is a major factor based upon how plain it was. Yes it is a small museum compared to most, but size does not matter. Presentation is how you capture your audience, at least that’s what I think. Given the right amount of funding, I truly believe the museum would be AWESOME. Nonetheless, I hate to see something that has so much potential to be a significant asset to our state, and the city of New Orleans close.
*Please do not let my disappointment in the museum deter you from checking it out yourselves.*
After a very short museum visit, I was left to answer the question “Well what next?” Since we were already in the French Quarter, it seemed like a good idea to just walk and see where we ended up. This was quite the task with one and three years old boys in tow, but very well worth it.
I have walked the French Quarter several times in my lifetime, and on this day, I saw the beauty of it all. This stroll with my mom and my sons brought me back to when I visited Barcelona and Valencia (the Spanish reigned in Louisiana), and how much I loved both cities.
Witnessing my children encountering total strangers and being excited about it made me smile.
In true Louisiana fashion, everyone was hospitable. What really made my heart smile were my boys genuine interest in what they saw. The “Ooooo mama, what’s that?” question was asked at least one hundred times. We even crossed paths with a random Secondline, and my children being who they are, broke out into laughter and dance. Simply walking and people watching was fulfillment enough for my expectations I had of the day. We truly walked aimlessly until the boys began to tire.
The street performers, buildings, small shops, people enjoying themselves as if no one was watching, I loved it all!
New Orleans is an enjoyable city with so much fun to offer. A planned museum visit turned into so much more. I walked away from the day believing that sometimes our plans do not work out so we can stumble onto something greater. A simple promenade through the French Quarter, exposed my sons to sights my mother did not expose me and my sisters to until we were teens. I am cheerful that I did not let the museum experience propel me into loading up, and driving back home. I am a planner, so when things do not go according to plan I freak. Carpe Diem is something I am working on, and NOLA was a great city to begin. Thank you New Orleans for showing this Louisiana girl and company a good time!
LAISSEZ BON TEMP ROULER